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The TV in Gergen’s West Wing Office


Today on Uncommon Knowledge, I remind Christopher Buckley of the strange object that David Gergen kept in his West Wing office back when Christopher and I worked as speechwriters in the Reagan White House.  Gergen, the director of communications, had inherited the strange object from H. R. Haldeman, Nixon’s chief of staff.  What was it?  A custom-made television console containing two little television screens and one big one.  What was it for?  To enable the viewer to watch all three of the evening news broadcasts at the same time.

Today?  Not three television channels but hundreds—plus, of course, talk radio and Internet sites such as this happy Corner.

Are the new media—the media Christopher Buckley so gorgeously parodies in his newest novel, Supreme Courtship—good or bad for the Republic?

Christopher’s reply?  Insightful and–of course–hilarious.